The Official "What Speakers or Subwoofer Should I Buy" Assistance Thread

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Rick Austinson
What are you looking for (Speakers, Subwoofer or Both)? Both + surround sound receiver

Primary Use: 100% TV & Movies

Desired Configuration: 5.1

Room Size: 12x12

Is the room open to other areas of your home: No

Do you already have an AV receiver or amplifier? No

What's your budget (low to high): $500 but negotiable

Any special requirements (Wife Acceptance)? Would like to find a rack-mounted receiver if possible. Not looking for necessarily top of the line or a lot of features; simplicity and longevity are the key goals. My theater isn't in a huge room and I don't like things loud. I'm mainly looking to upgrade to a receiver system to normalize the sounds a little so I can hear the dialogue but not shake the windows.

Thanks!
 

theJman

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How negotiable is your budget? 5 speakers, a subwoofer and receiver is a very tall order for $500. Your room is small, which is a benefit in this case, but even a decent subwoofer is in the $500 range.
 
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Honestly? I have no idea. I'm very new to this sort of thing so I just sort of threw out a number.

The receiver is the most important part for my specific needs - I'm having a lot of trouble with spikes and audio irregularity(see "Dialogue too quiet, explosions to loud"), and was advised that installing a real home theater system with a real receiver would help with that. I understand the speakers are more important in the long run, but I think before I start investing heavily in high-quality speaker systems I'd like to get a receiver installed and make sure it solves my core problem.

I'm not saying a $500 subwoofer isn't worth every penny, but I'm to new to this world to understand why. I currently have a subwoofer that came as part of a $50 speaker set, but I've got a tin ear so I'm certain I couldn't tell the difference. I'm actually quite interested to learn what makes these more expensive components are superior.
 

theJman

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If you're needs are modest then perhaps an 'all-in-one' system might suffice. For something like that check out this link. It's not audiophile grade equipment but it will be simple to install and configure. It's also within your originally stated budget.
 

JohnRice

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That's your best option. Any Home Theater in a Box (HTiB) you get should use a powered subwoofer, which that one does, and has a regular receiver, so you aren't limited if you want to upgrade later.
 

Mike Frezon

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Rick: Whenever I see discussions like this, I quickly recommend Onkyo home theater systems. My son got THIS system back in 2012 and it sounded really nice and was very flexible (in terms of sound adjustment and speaker placement). He is still using it to this day (with the exception of a new receiver upgrade as the original lost one if its channels).

What the others have said about "powered" subwoofers is important.

And Amazon usually has the latest systems at decent prices. They also have a variety of speaker styles to choose from: floor-standing tower speakers, small bookshelf speakers, etc.

Good luck!
 

Nigel P

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So I decided against the XTZ 12.17 edge in the end. I really liked the look of the subwoofer, but their customer service seemed a bit hit and miss which was a concern with it coming from another country and the current state of things. I therefore picked up a Rel HT1205 which I managed to get for £150 (about $190) off asking price. I am really happy with it as it has added another dimension to my film watching. It feels like a different experience re-watching some of my films now, especially those I didn't get to see at the cinema.

My next purchase I am saving for is a new receiver. I like the look of the Denons and I was initially thinking AVR-X3600, but for £150 (again about $190) more there is the AVR-X4500. My question is how much do you think I would notice the improved AL32 processor with my speaker set up. The 3600 seem out of stock at the moment, but more are due next month. I see the 2020 models are due out soon so this is probably the best time to get one of the older models.
 
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That's your best option. Any Home Theater in a Box (HTiB) you get should use a powered subwoofer, which that one does, and has a regular receiver, so you aren't limited if you want to upgrade later.
So my question is: will the receiver from a HTiB still be sophisticated enough to do the audio-leveling that I need? That's really the biggest part of this whole project.

Thanks!
 

JohnRice

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So my question is: will the receiver from a HTiB still be sophisticated enough to do the audio-leveling that I need? That's really the biggest part of this whole project.

Thanks!
That specific one says it has a microphone and auto calibration, so yes. You might find you want to fine tune it after that’s done, but it does automate the process.
 
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Ok, so I should look for that one specifically or one that lists those features. Awesome, thanks!! So glad I know what to look for now :D
 

Pupp

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I think a lot of people get subwoofer and woofer mixed up. Yes, in many instances, like using bookshelf speakers, the subwoofer ends up taking over parts of the "woofer" audio.

But subwoofer is suppose to be "sub" in as much that you can't actually hear the sound waves. In fact, if you listen to a pure subwoofer test on Youtube, you'll think your hearing frequencies that are far below the human ear. In fact, it's your entire body that's being vibrated, and that's what's causing you to "hear" lower frequencies.
 

stuart.h

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What are you looking for (Speakers, Subwoofer or Both)? Speakers + Receiver (Amp?)

Primary Use: 5% Music, 95% TV & Movies

Desired Configuration: 7.2 (+ Atmos?)

Room Size:
18' x 18'

Is the room open to other areas of your home: Yes- About 6' opening in back wall that goes into basement "bar" area

Do you already have an AV receiver or amplifier? no

What's your budget (low to high): $3000-$5000... Not sure exactly what by budget should be. I'm looking for something that sounds really good, but I don't need it to be the best. Basically would like to keep it as economical as possible without cutting too many corners.

Any special requirements (Wife Acceptance)? No

Currently have ceiling mounted projector and drop down screen left by previous owner. He took all other equipment. Room is already wired by previous owner for front left/right speakers, 2 front subs, front center is wired to ceiling above screen, one speaker wired to each side wall roughly 1/2 down walls (outlet located low on wall), rear left right surround speakers wired to ceiling, and one rear center wired to ceiling.

Plan (I think) is to do 2 subs, 2 tower front left/right speakers then I guess "bookshelf" speakers for sides and rear surround speakers... not sure what to do with rear center option. Previous owner did not have a speaker hooked up at this location. Also would love to make this an Atmos system, just not sure how exactly I can do this since room is already pre wired as listed above.
 

bvincenttt

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What are you looking for (Speakers, Subwoofer or Both)? I currently have an Onkoy HT-R383 and the Energy Take Classic 5.1 this is my first set up and I made the purchase about a week ago. The more I dive in to this...what feels like a new hobby, it can get kind of overwhelming. What's you're take on how to continue to update w/o breaking the bank but also feel like the latest and greatest isn't too far away from what you own.​

Primary Use: 50% movies 30% sports 20% music

Desired Configuration: 7.1

Room Size:
12x25

Is the room open to other areas of your home: Yes, but no open spaces. Just a rectangle with 2 doors and 4 good sized mirrors

Do you already have an AV receiver or amplifier? Refer to question #1

What's your budget (low to high) $350 - $650

Any special requirements (Wife Acceptance)? My main priority is to be able to create Dolby Atmos the best I can.
 

theJman

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I'm unable to find any references on the internet for an Onkyo HT-R383, only an HT-R393, so I can't see the exact specifications for the receiver. Are the two models similar?


What's you're take on how to continue to update w/o breaking the bank but also feel like the latest and greatest isn't too far away from what you own.?

What are you wanting to upgrade? You have an AVR, subwoofer and 5 speakers with a desire to go to 7.1 so are you only looking for 2 Atmos speakers then?
 

bvincenttt

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I'm unable to find any references on the internet for an Onkyo HT-R383, only an HT-R393, so I can't see the exact specifications for the receiver. Are the two models similar?


What's you're take on how to continue to update w/o breaking the bank but also feel like the latest and greatest isn't too far away from what you own.?

What are you wanting to upgrade? You have an AVR, subwoofer and 5 speakers with a desire to go to 7.1 so are you only looking for 2 Atmos speakers then?
My apologies I meant 393.


Well I want to upgrade my AVR eventually, seeing as it only has an option for a passive sub. Guess my question is where should I start upgrading in preparation for getting an upgraded AVR. Which I want to be able to Dolby Atmos.
 

theJman

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Well I want to upgrade my AVR eventually, seeing as it only has an option for a passive sub.

Something seems amiss... the subwoofer that comes with the Energy Take 5 is powered so how do you have it hooked up to the AVR now?


Guess my question is where should I start upgrading in preparation for getting an upgraded AVR. Which I want to be able to Dolby Atmos.

If you're looking to do a complete system make over then the correct order will likely be speakers, subwoofer and then receiver. The Onkyo you have now will drive new speakers and I assume a new subwoofer since they're all powered. Once you have that in place then getting another receiver would be the final piece of the puzzle.
 

bvincenttt

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Well I want to upgrade my AVR eventually, seeing as it only has an option for a passive sub.

Something seems amiss... the subwoofer that comes with the Energy Take 5 is powered so how do you have it hooked up to the AVR now?


Guess my question is where should I start upgrading in preparation for getting an upgraded AVR. Which I want to be able to Dolby Atmos.

If you're looking to do a complete system make over then the correct order will likely be speakers, subwoofer and then receiver. The Onkyo you have now will drive new speakers and I assume a new subwoofer since they're all powered. Once you have that in place then getting another receiver would be the final piece of the puzzle.
The Energy Take 5 sub sits collecting dust. I'm currently using just the front speakers and surround in conjunction with the original Onkyo sub it came with. Basically answered my own question. Hands are kind of tied to just doing speakers until I upgrade the AVR and can move to a better sub.
 

daesonn

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What are you looking for (Speakers, Subwoofer or Both)? Center, Left + Right, Subwoofer (3.1)

Primary Use: 50% Music, 50% TV & Movies

Desired Configuration: 3.1

Room Size: 18x13

Is the room open to other areas of your home: Yes, dining area

Do you already have an AV receiver or amplifier? Not yet.

What's your budget (low to high): Hoping I can get everything for around $2000 or less, but no strict budget.

Any special requirements (Wife Acceptance)? I can't do black glossy stuff. I have a lot of natural wood finish furniture and am hoping for something that matches. I previously picked out https://www.worldwidestereo.com/pro...7230f1f70e5d5408cf75,5aec7233f1f70e5d5408cfb1 and was going to pair them with the Klipsch 12" sub that Costco sells. Was probably just going to get an amplifier from Costco too.

Attached pic of my living room for reference. I think trying to add rears and making it a 5.1 would make my small livingroom too cluttered. I would like to maintain some aesthetics. Thank you for your help.
 

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theJman

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Any special requirements (Wife Acceptance)? I can't do black glossy stuff. I have a lot of natural wood finish furniture and am hoping for something that matches. I previously picked out https://www.worldwidestereo.com/products/klh-quincy-floorstanding-speakers-pair-walnut-with-story-center-channel-speaker-walnut-wwsqwprscw?via=5aec7230f1f70e5d5408cf75,5aec7233f1f70e5d5408cfb1 and was going to pair them with the Klipsch 12" sub that Costco sells. Was probably just going to get an amplifier from Costco too.

Attached pic of my living room for reference. I think trying to add rears and making it a 5.1 would make my small livingroom too cluttered. I would like to maintain some aesthetics. Thank you for your help.
Looks like the KLH comes in a 3.1 package already so that could work. I'd stay away from the Klipsch subwoofer however; the company is known for their speakers, the subs have tended to be less than desirable. If towers are too large and would make the room appear cluttered you could always go with something like the HSU 15 Hybrid 3.1 system in Rosenut. The sub is sizable but the speakers would be considerably smaller. The benefit there is you could add surrounds at a later date and they wouldn't take up a lot of room.
 

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